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“Authentic hotel with style!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel

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Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Union Square)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #71 of 234 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Llanwern, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Authentic hotel with style!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here at the end of July for our wedding anniversary. Upon arriving we were told we would be rebooked to another hotel around the corner for the first night. A Virgin holidays booking error! After explaining how upset we were- i was fuming! We were sent to the new hotel and assured that all would be fine the next day.

When we arrived to drop our cases off the next day, we checked in at reception. As it was early, we couldn't get into the room we left our bags and explained to the reception what had happened. The staff were more than friendly and so helpful. We were told our room was sorted and handed our cases into the locked storing room.

We arrived back to the hotel later that day and checked in for our keys, again they couldn't apologise enough and were so helpful. We were given a corner room overlooking the trams, which was stunning. When we arrived into the room we had a bottle of procescco and strawberries waiting for us. A lovely gift from the hotel.

We asked for a table in the starlight room that evening as it was our anniversary. We had a lovely table overlooking Union Square, the cocktails were so delicious, I had a fair few! The room itself is very classy, nice music and dance floor. The perfect way to celebrate our marriage. We loved it up there. The staff were so friendly.

Our room was spectacular. It was authentic and very trendy. I loved the furniture in the room. The room wasn't overly huge, but there was enough space for two of us to move around. It was very clean. We didn't ask for the cleaners to come in each day as we respected the fact there was a drought in California.

Overall we had a pleasant stay here, shame it wasn't for the full stay. Although, in compensation, we did get free drinks vouchers to the main bar(stunning area) free breakfast vouchers for both days and one nights parking for free. The Sir Francis Drake was a brilliant hotel, they can't do enough for you. The hotel itself is a place of beauty. If you visit San Fran, you have to stay here. We are planning a trip back and will definatly be coming back to the Drake.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 30, 2014
Good Morning MacyGriff,

Thank you for the great 4 star review! We are bummed that we were not able to accomodate you at our hotel for your entire stay, but it sounds like once we helped get you settled in everything was perfect! I am glad you chose to stay with us at The Drake for such a special occasion. We look forward to having you back to celebrate many more.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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2,204 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (484)
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English first
New York City, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

The hotel is fantastically well-located -- you can hop on a cable car if you leave early in the morning -- and the bellmen were incredibly friendly and helpful. But our room was one of the tiniest I've ever seen -- it was virtually impossible for four people and their suitcases to be comfortable in the room. Wifi is only free if you have a Kimpton Karma account.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Hey EDarcy1,

Thank you for the review! I am glad you loved our location. Location is definitely one of our perks; so centrally located to great restaurants, shopping, and site seeing. I would suggest booking a grand room next time you stay, it is a more spacious room that will comfortably fit 4 people.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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Austin, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

A big "Thank You" to Chris and Aleina at the front desk, who made our unexpected stay in San Francisco a vacation to remember! Our girls trip was to be one night in SF and several nights in Napa, but the area experienced an earthquake causing much of Napa to close for restoration. Chris and Aleina helped us secure a room at the Sir Frances Drake for our extended stay and provided us with spot-on recommendations for restaurants and things to do. The hotel is perfectly located for easy walking around Union Square, and has the great Kimpton charm. Also, a "Thank You" to Eddie the doorman who made coming and going from the hotel a fun experience.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Hey Traveler,

Thank you for the great 5 star review! I am delighted to hear that Chris and Aleina took such great care of you; this is definitely not surprising they are complete Rockstars! I am glad we were able to help make the remainder of your trip fun, even after the quake.

Hope to see you back at the Sir Francis Drake soon!

Cheers,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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Warwick, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights as part of a month-long tour of America. Its situated right next to Union Square in the heart of the shopping district, great if you want to shop but not necessarily for sightseeing (which we were there for).

The room was modern and tastefully decorated although not very big, disappointing as the room rate was not cheap when compared with other similiar quality hotels (although I guess you pay for the location).

Service overall was good and in particular they had a guest 'happy hour' every night between 5-6pm where they served free wine, a nice touch after a day's sightseeing. We would also recommend a visit to the the Starlight Room, a cocktail bar at the top of the hotel with great views over San Fran at night.

The trams run right past the hotel which is convenient for getting around, and there are many good places to eat and drink within walking distance. In particular we would recommend Sears Fine Food diner directly opposite the hotel, we had breakfast there every day and it serves fantastic pancakes and felt like a traditional american diner should be.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Hey Martin,

Thank you for the review! I am glad you stayed with us on your visit to the States. Lack of charm is definitely a first for us here, the historic nature of our hotel creates an automatic charm for most. I am glad you enjoyed the location of the hotel, there is so much to see in this city that being centrally located to get to the attractions is a great perk we have. Thank you for joining us at wine hour nightly, it's truly our favorite hour of the day here at the drake.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

This hotel is beautiful and in the best location in San Francisco; centrally located and close to Union Square. The rooms are clean, beds are comfortable and well decorated even though the bathrooms are small. Service is exceptional. However, if you have special requests, such as adjoining rooms, contact the hotel directly. There are a number of popular breakfast spots nearby. Sears is very popular and gets lined up early. If you just want a smoothie or something light, you can walk down to the Walgreens. There are many excellent restaurants within walking distance of Market Street such as Annabelle's, Fang and Bluestem. Beware of the treadmill in the fitness room, it needs a safety shutoff. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Hey Traveler,

Thank you for the great 5 star review! We are glad you had such a fun time at our hotel. I may be biased but I think our team provides exceptional service also! You named some of my favorite spots to dine in the area, hopefully you were able to check out Scala's while you were here their food is phenomenal.

We look forward to having you back next time you are in San Francisco.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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Columbia, Missouri
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

I usually don't write this kind of stuff but my recent stay at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco was a delight. Their staff is so friendly, courteous and helpful that my stay there went without a hitch. One staff member, their House Man, going by the name of Byron, was exceptionally helpful and attentive to my business related needs.

When I return to SF I'll certainly remember where to stay!!

Thanks,

Eric Lorenz

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Hey Eric Lorenz,

Thank you for the great 5 star review! We love when our guests have an overall great experience. Byron is a major asset to our team, thanks for giving him a shout out we will be certain he gets some recognition here on property.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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gold coast
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
21 hotel reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

We have spent the last 2 nights at the SFD, and have enjoyed our time. Check in was easy even though we arrive early, and we were grateful since we had travelled a long way. The room was small but I expected that from the reviews, it's tastefully decorated and the bed was comfy.
We ate lunch at Sears across the road, which was awesome! Explored Union Square, and purchased a two day hop on hop off bus tour ticket. Was great to get our bearings on the first afternoon. The concierge was extremely helpful suggesting a blues bar the 2nd night, was fabulous, if you get the chance try Biscuits and Blues. We ate in the lobby the first night, enjoying cocktails and small plate food from the Scala's the onsite restaurant.
We would return to this hotel, yes rooms are small but they are fine, the hotel has some real character to it. But it certainly shook in the earthquake last night which was bit scary.
Staff have all been very pleasant and helpful. Thanks for a great stay!

Room Tip: Ask for the higher floors, you can definitely hear street noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Hey GoldCoastJoey,

Thank you for the 5 star review! The earthquake shook us all in and around the city, we were all thrown for a loop but luckily we have emergency plans in place that we practice to ensure if there were every an emergency our team would be prepared no matter what time of day. Luckily there was no damage! It sounds like you got the full San Francisco experience while you were here, that is wonderful! We look forward to having you back next time you are in the city.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#33 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#47 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#64 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#69 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 416
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sir Francis Drake Hotel, housed in a landmark building in the heart of Union Square, is quintessential San Francisco: exciting, romantic, timelessly elegant and unique. The ornately decorated lobby, old-world hospitality, and Tom Sweeney, the hotel's infamous Beefeater doorman, transport you to another time and place. The legendary Starlight Room, the adjacent Scala's Bistro and unmatched hospitality complete the picture to create an unforgettable San Francisco experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco
Sir Francis Drake Hotel San Francisco
Drake Francis Sir

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